MOSCOW (AP) — Three police officers and a civilian were killed in a morning attack on a police station in Kazakhstan's largest city, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.
Two gunmen attacked a police station in central Almaty late Monday morning, killing three police officers in a gun battle. While fleeing from the police station, one of the gunmen shot and killed a local resident before hijacking his car, the police said.
The police said it has detained one suspect, identified as a 27-year-old former convict who was wanted for the murder of a woman. The other man remained at large.
The attack comes a month after 20 people were killed in the Kazakh city of Aktobe when groups of gunmen attacked a military base and a gun shop. Authorities in this Central Asian nation then described the violence as a terrorist attack and blamed it on radical Islamists.
Energy-rich Kazakhstan, arguably one of the most prosperous former Soviet republics, is a predominantly Muslim but largely secular nation.
Officials on Monday raised the terror threat level to red after the attack but would not immediately identify the affiliation of the attackers.
Leading news website Tengrinews.kz, reporting from a local hospital, said seven police officers were in critical condition.
Local media also reported that gun shops across Almaty, Kazakhstan's commercial capital, have been closed.